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Walgreens leverages its points of care to offer immunizations

BY Antoinette Alexander

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens has announced that it is now offering immunizations daily at all of its more than 7,700 stores nationwide, including all Duane Reade pharmacies in New York and more than 350 Take Care Clinics.

Flu shots are available daily with no appointment necessary during all pharmacy and clinic hours. New this season, patients who desire a flu shot appointment at any Walgreens may schedule one online at Walgreens.com.

“Our customers value the access we provide, as well as the trusted relationship they have with our pharmacists and other healthcare professionals, more than 27,000 of whom are clinically experienced in providing flu shots and other immunizations,” stated Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness. “A Walgreens flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and those around you, and to stay well during what is always an unpredictable flu season.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a flu shot for everyone over the age of 6 months and recommends vaccination every season in order to be fully protected against influenza.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also recommends pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccination for people who are at high-risk for flu, including children, seniors and individuals with certain health conditions.

Most Walgreens offer pneumococcal vaccinations daily, with pharmacists at select locations trained to administer all of the more than 20 CDC-recommended immunizations. Shingles vaccine, which has been widely reported to be in short supply from some healthcare providers, also is available at these select locations and more than 3,000 Walgreens nationwide. Both are also available at all Take Care Clinics.

With more than 30 states now recommending that children entering grades 7 to 12 receive an immunization that protects against pertussis (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis-Tdap vaccine), or whooping cough, prior to the start of the school year, Walgreens is offering immunizations daily at all of its stores in nearly half of the impacted states. Pertussis/Tdap immunizations also are available at all Take Care Clinics, as well as select Walgreens locations in 42 states.

 

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Rite Aid appoints new chief communications officer

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid has appointed Susan Henderson as SVP and chief communications officer to replace Karen Rugen, who retired last month, the retail pharmacy chain said Monday.

Henderson will be responsible for all aspects of corporate communications, including media relations, financial communications, issues management, associate and supplier communications and the company’s charity initiatives, reporting to president and CEO John Standley.

"Susan is a seasoned communications and public affairs professional who brings extensive consumer products and retail experience to Rite Aid," Standley said. "She is a proven leader in her own discipline and will be a valuable asset to us as an integral member of the management team focused on delivering long-term sustainable growth for our company."

Henderson, who has more than 25 years of experience, previously worked for Chicago-based strategy execution and employment engagement firm Gagen MacDonald; before that, she was VP communications for Harley-Davidson. She has also worked for the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. in Chicago, Kohl’s Department Stores and the Miller Brewing Co.

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MinuteClinic’s 10 millionth patient visit milestone speaks volumes

BY Antoinette Alexander

The news that MinuteClinic has surpassed 10 million patient visits is important because the pace at which these milestones are occurring speaks volumes to the increased patient acceptance.

(THE NEWS: MinuteClinic surpasses 10 millionth patient visit mark. For the full story, click here.)

As reported by Drug Store News, the retail clinic operator recently saw its 10 millionth patient since opening its doors in 2000. This is on top of the fact that MinuteClinic, as well as other clinic operators like Take Care Health Systems, continues to broaden its reach through strategic clinical affiliations with various health systems throughout the country.

The news came just as hundreds of retail health professionals gathered in Orlando, Fla., for the fourth annual Retail Clinician Education Congress. The three-day event, which took place during National Convenient Care Clinic Week, served as a platform where retail health professionals could network and receive exclusive accreditation.

It also should be noted that in CVS Caremark’s Aug. 4 conference call to discuss second-quarter results, Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark, told analysts that the company’s MinuteClinic business experienced a 28% increase in revenues during the second quarter and is on track to break even by the end of this year.

The clinic operator also is on track to open 100 new locations annually for the next five years. By 2015, it expects to operate more than 1,000 clinics.

Again, the pace at which these milestones are occurring clearly speaks volumes to the increased patient acceptance of retail-based health clinics. As the industry kicks into its next major growth phase, expect the next patient milestone to come quickly.
 

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